In this day and age, sitting in your office shuffling papers will not cut it if you want to be a successful leader. Just ask Brian Lang, Regional Market President for Townsquare Media, who’s one of Radio Ink’s Best Managers for 2018. Lang’s success in radio just surpassed 20 years, his management career in media goes back 25 years. Here’s what one of Brian’s co-workers had to say about him…
“Brian stands out as a leader among leaders due to his unwavering dedication and determination to create quality stations, websites, and events; deliver compelling results for advertisers; give back to the community in numerous and generous ways; and hiring and developing the very best talent that builds on unparalleled team cultures in both markets he manages. By the time most are just starting their day, Brian has already spent hours digging into industry news and trends, reviewing emails to be sure he has responded to all his employees and corporate leadership, and thinking of new ways we can continue to innovate in all areas of our business.”
That’s quality recognition from someone who works for you.
Here’s our extended interview with Brian Lang one of Radio’s best managers for 2018
Radio Ink: Why do you believe you’ve been able to achieve the success you have as a manager in radio?
Brian Lang: Several reasons. I paid my dues having worked in promotions, as an AE, Sales Manager, Director of Sales, and Market President. I have made lots of mistakes during this journey, all of which made me smarter. Understanding that the best team wins has been critical. Being able to recruit and retain “A” talent is the difference-maker for achieving goals.
Radio Ink: Who mentored you, and how did they help you succeed?
Brian Lang: My father (former Amaturo Group President Monte Lang) has been my biggest fan and toughest critic. He taught me the importance of preparation and conceptual selling. Early in my career I had the privilege of working with Kevin Sweeney. Kevin stressed that to be successful we needed a real understanding of our client’s business and that radio was the best path to reach specific demographics. Erik Hellum and Rob Williams at Townsquare helped me see that big market ideas and strategies work in small and medium markets. I’ve also learned from some amazing programmers such as John O’Connell, Brian Thomas, Mark McCray, and Herb Ivy.
Radio Ink: What do you expect from the people you manage?
Brian Lang: Our team understands that a high-performance, high-energy, and high-positivity culture is important and leads to positive results. I am a big believer in communication with specificity and collaboration throughout the organization.
Radio Ink: When do you know you have a great employee who has the potential to become a manager?
Brian Lang: Cream tends to rise to the top. Leaders emerge through action, initiative, problem solving, etc. It’s my job to be present and aware, and then encourage and develop people so they can see their future potential.
Radio Ink: What is the number one challenge you face every day as a manager, and how are you overcoming it?
Brian Lang: The biggest challenge is declining radio budgets, particularly from agencies. We stay focused on bringing integrated ideas including our digital capabilities to solve client challenges.
Radio Ink: Tell us what your biggest/most proud moment at the station or cluster was over the past 12 months.
Brian Lang: Building a “top shelf” management team including Christine Sieks, Mike Marcello, Carol Webb, and most recently adding Sarah Dobbins. Growing our top line and cash flow due to our integrated portfolio including radio, digital, digital services, and live events.
Radio Ink: What does it take to be a strong and successful manager in radio today?
Brian Lang: Understanding that success comes through the success of others and that culture matters. Recruiting and retaining the best talent is essential. Open and honest dialogue, clear expectations are a must. Get out of your office…walk around the building, be on sales calls, participate in the community, and get yourself in the “right” rooms.
Radio Ink: What would you like to see the radio industry be better at?
Brian Lang: We need to do a better job advocating our strengths, including reach, music discovery, community service, and integrated assets. Keeping the “show biz” element of what we do is important. We need the next generation to understand that radio is still cool.
Reach out to Brian to congratulate him on being one of radio’s top leaders at [email protected]